Consultation on the reform of the waste carrier, broker, dealer registration system in England

Closed 15 Apr 2022

Opened 21 Jan 2022


The current carriers, brokers and dealers (“CBD”) regime[1]  requires any person or business that transports waste, buys and sells waste, or arranges the transportation of waste in England to be registered with the Environment Agency as a waste carrier, broker or dealer[2]. A waste carrier is someone who transports controlled waste (waste that is subject to legislative control in either its handling or disposal) as part of their business. Waste brokers arrange for other businesses’ controlled waste to be handled, transported, disposed of or recovered. Waste dealers take waste from other businesses to sell on. Waste may be exported outside of the UK for further treatment, recovery and recycling but is prohibited from disposal in most cases. If a carrier is registered with the relevant agency in England, Wales or Scotland, they can carry waste across the borders of these three nations.

There are two tiers for registration. Individuals or businesses that only carry waste produced in the course of their business activities (other than construction or demolition waste) can register as lower tier. If a person or organisation carries others’ waste, carries construction or demolition waste, or acts as a broker or dealer, their activities are classed as upper tier. 

It has been estimated the cost of waste crime to the UK economy is £1.11 billion per year and the cost to the English economy alone in the 2018/19 financial year was estimated to be £924 million[3]. The main economic costs are lost business revenues to the legitimate waste sector, loss of Landfill Tax through misclassification of waste and costs to the public sector of clearing abandoned waste sites and fly-tipped waste.

The Independent Review into Serious and Organised Crime in the Waste Sector in 2018 highlighted “the extent to which waste is handled by an increasing number of, often opaque, intermediaries”. It recommended that “Registration and duty of care requirements for carriers, brokers and dealers should be reformed (including in relation to hazardous waste).” [4]  This document is about reforming the waste carrier, broker, dealer registration system in England to ensure that controlled waste in England is moved or traded by authorised persons and in a safe manner.


[2] The Control of Pollution (Amendment) Act 1989 and the Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011

[3]Counting the cost of UK Waste Crime, 2021, commissioned by the Environmental Services Association and written by Eunomia.

[4] Recommendation 7- Independent report Serious and organised waste crime: 2018 review; commissioned by Defra


Why your views matter

In 2018, the Resources and Waste Strategy[1] set out the Government’s commitment to improve the transport, management, and description of waste by reforming regulations for duty of care, carrier/broker/dealers, hazardous waste and international waste shipments.

We have since worked with the regulators to build upon the proposals from the waste industry to reform the CBD regime which are part of a wide ranging ongoing review of the waste legislation framework across a number of regimes. We are seeking further views from the waste industry and other stakeholders on the proposals.

This consultation seeks views on:

  • The move from a registration to a permit-based system and the levels of permits available
  • What activities should be covered by permits, what should be covered by exemptions and what activities should not require either a permit or registration
  • The introduction of a technical competence element required for permits; the level required and how it can be demonstrated through the workforce

As these proposals extend to all operators in the waste transportation industry, this consultation will also be of interest to all businesses across England that hold an environmental permit for waste operations or who operate under a registered exemption from the permitting system



The questions are designed to be answered with reference to the consultation document below; please view this document as you answer the online survey.   Relevant information from the consultation document has also been provided at appropriate points throughout the online survey - where you see links to 'Our Proposals' , clicking on this will give you supporting information to help you answer the questions for that section.

What happens next

After the consultation, a summary of the responses to this consultation will be published and placed on the government website at

The summary will include a list of names and organisations that responded but not personal names, addresses or other contact details. However, information provided in response to this consultation document, including personal information, may be subject to publication or release to other parties or to disclosure in accordance with the access to information regimes e.g. Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) and the Data Protection Act 1998.

If you want information, including personal data that you provide to be treated as confidential, please say so clearly in writing when you send your response to the consultation why you need to keep these details confidential. If we receive a request for disclosure under the FOIA, we will take full account of your explanation, but we cannot provide an assurance that confidentiality can be maintained in all circumstances. An automatic confidentiality disclaimer generated by your IT system will not, of itself, be regarded as a confidentiality request.

This consultation is being conducted in line with the “Consultation Principles” as set out in the Better Regulation Executive guidance which can be found at

If you have any comments or complaints about the consultation process, please address them to:

By e-mail:, or in writing to:

Consultation Co-ordinator, Defra, 8A, 8th Floor, Nobel House, 17 Smith Square

London SW1P 3JR


  • Local Authorities
  • Waste Producers and Handlers
  • Waste Management Companies


  • Waste and recycling